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We have a situation where our users need to geocode a location (programmatically turn a description into latitude/longitude coordinates) from within an application unable to show a graphic image.

Since the Yahoo Geocoding API and the Google Geocoding API both require that the result is used for showing maps (which is a graphic image) this means that we cannot use them immediately.

Is there a Geocoding facility available - web service or locally installed (preferred if it does not require network access) - that can be used for such a scenario with a reasonable price model?

We can use either Windows applications, Java libraries or remote web services in this particular scenario. Suggestions?

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ørn Did OpenStreeMap work out? –  Gary Rowe Dec 16 '10 at 21:39
@Gary, for this particular deployment it turned out we could batch load the needed geocoordinates from another source. The implementation is still relevant, but has been postponed a bit. –  user1249 Dec 16 '10 at 21:56

1 Answer 1

I'd suggest looking into OpenStreetmap:

About OpenStreetMap

The OpenStreetMap (OSM) initiative creates and provides free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways.

They have a plethora of web services, but most (all?) of their tools are open source and can be installed locally together with the OSM data.

Geocoding with OpenStreetMap: Nominatim

OSM seems to have a Geocoding service called Nominatim. It is available to query online but you may also install it on your own machines.


You might be able to find other geocoding services that operate on OSM data through the OpenStreetMap.org site.

Hope this helps.

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